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The University of Tennessee

Institute for a Secure and Sustainable Environment

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311 Conference Center Bldg.
Knoxville, TN USA 37996-4134

Phone: 865.974.4251
Fax: 865.974.1838
Email: Tim Ezzell at


For information on the Beck Tour, please contact Eric Ogle, 865-974-4562,

CPC Staff

picture of Tim Ezzell

Dr. Tim Ezzell serves as director of the University of Tennessee’s Community Partnership Center. He holds a BA in history from Auburn University and graduate degrees in history and urban and regional planning from the University of Tennessee.

He has worked extensively with communities throughout East Tennessee promoting sustainable growth, asset-based economic development, and citizen-driven planning processes. He has served as primary author of numerous reports and studies, including Little River, Big Future - one of the largest participatory watershed planning processes undertaken in the United States.

His project sponsors include the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, and the Alcoa Foundation.

Contact info:; 865-974-9036

picture of Eric Ogle

Eric Ogle has served as a Program Coordinator for the Community Partnership Center (UT-CPC) since 2003. After receiving a B.S. in Marketing, Logistics and Transportation from UT in 1997, he began his career at the Tennessee Valley Authority in Knoxville in Marketing Communications, assisting many of its non-power related Economic Development activities throughout the Tennessee Valley. In the fall of 1998, Mr. Ogle became Director of Tourism for Cocke County, Tennessee, a county in East Tennessee that contains a considerable portion of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The opportunity to develop and promote the small businesses of his home county was a tremendous experience, and realizing the importance the National Park has on the culture and economy of Cocke County, Mr. Ogle became an early advocate of sustainable tourism development in East Tennessee.

After receiving a M.S. in Urban and Regional Planning from UT in 2001, Eric continued his economic and community development work at UT-CPC, where university outreach and research projects allow interaction with many leaders on topics ranging from alternative energy and environmental policy, to socio-economic issues in Appalachia, to tourism and technology and their important roles in the broader context of sustainable asset-based development for Tennessee communities. Recent project outcomes include a downtown revitalization plan for Madisonville, a sustainable development plan and a technology development plan for Copperhill, a watershed development plan for the Little River Watershed in Blount County, a tourism plan for Morgan County, a wireless network for promoting tourism, and the University of Tennessee’s first campus heritage preservation plan, among others.

A lifelong fan of technology, Eric’s research interests are most active where technology creates economic and social benefits at the community level. Many of the projects Eric takes special interest in are those in which the application of technology can help improve the quality of lives of people, local organizations, and the environment. Beginning in 2003, Eric began an effort to promote local businesses and attractions through Wi-Fi-enabled tourism networks placed in downtown areas of rural communities. The Waitt Family Foundation and the Intel Corporation provided funding and equipment to create a Wi-Fi network in downtown Newport to distribute local tourism information to visitors in the community. The experience in Newport led to a similar effort in Knoxville that partnered several nonprofit community organizations to develop digital content for a 2.5 square mile Wi-Fi network in downtown, which became KAATCH, the Knoxville African-American Tour of Cultural Heritage, a multimedia walking tour of 15 historically significant sites around downtown Knoxville.

Realizing that technology is a critical piece of the rural sustainable development puzzle, Mr. Ogle has become an advocate of advanced telecommunications for rural communities in Tennessee and around the nation. Since 2005, Eric has been a board member and officer of, formerly KORRnet, the Knoxville-Oak Ridge Regional Network, East Tennessee’s nonprofit community network. Eric has also been a member of the national Rural Telecommunications Congress since 2003, and joined its board of directors in 2004, quickly taking an active role with the organization, which hosts and develops content for an annual conference of several hundred technology leaders in a rural American community each fall. Eric has served as an officer for the RTC as Treasurer since 2007, and has recently led and completed the effort to re-charter the national non-profit corporation in the State of Tennessee. He is doing what he can to raise awareness of the digital divide in Tennessee and, along with his work in other fields, continues to work to bridge that gap through various infrastructure and application development projects.

Eric lives in Knoxville with his wife Jayne and their three children.

Contact info:; 865-974-4562

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